Monday, October 18, 2010

I Absolutely Hate Jalapeno Jelly Belly Jelly Beans; That's How I Know They're So Good!

The Good: Tastes exactly like jalapeno peppers, Environmentally responsible bulk
The Bad: Taste is absolutely vile
The Basics: Depending on one's feelings about hot peppers, the Jalapeno Jelly Bellys in the ten-pound case are either absolutely worthless or absolute perfection, despite the taste being accurate.

One of the truly wonderful things about reviewing for my own blog is that some of the things required by other sites and reviewers that I have trouble conforming to can be done away with. So, for example, on the site I previously wrote for, there was no way to rate a product zero out of five stars. This is problematic when translating my reviews from the old system to my preferred one (ten-point scale), but I'm making a good run of it! I also don't have to nail myself into a firm position on some things. I'm glad about that with the Jalapeno Jelly Belly jelly beans. Why? Because they are perfect and abysmal.

Every few months - or at least once a year - Jelly Belly changes the 50 flavor jelly bean assortment it produces. Each and every time they do, I find myself hoping that this will be the time they remove Jalapeno from their assortment. They finally did in the last pass, replacing it with Chili Mango. As I find myself considering the bulk box of Jalapeno Jelly Belly jelly beans, I keep wishing Jelly Belly had never made this flavor. It puts me in far too much of a quandary. Unlike the Pomegranate Jelly Belly jelly beans which were easy to dismiss because they were trendy and accurately gross flavored, the endurance of the Jalapeno Jelly Belly illustrates that Jelly Belly is not simply cashing in on a current trend. So, I am caught between acknowledging the fact that this is the most environmentally responsible bulk of a flavor of jelly bean which tastes exactly like it is supposed to and yet that I would never recommend and the fact that the flavor itself is so unpleasant that I would never want to taste this again. Either way, this is going to be a strong "not recommend." At the end of the day, Jalapeno Jelly Bellys are gross and I cannot unload the bulk I refuse to eat quick enough.

For those who might never have had Jelly Belly jelly beans, these are easily the best jelly beans on the planet, packing a lot of flavor into a very small size. Unlike most jelly beans which are only vaguely flavored and are more based on colors, Jelly Belly jelly beans have a wide variety of actual flavors, like cafe latte, 7-Up, toasted marshmallow or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.

Who needs ten pounds of Jalapeno flavored Jelly Bellys? Anyone who loves hot peppers. This is the jelly bean for people who like things spicy. Anyone who might like Jalapeno Jelly Belly jelly beans will likely find that this is the best way to get them in bulk in an environmentally responsible way for the least amount of money.


Jalapeno is a flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, a premium jelly bean, and this flavor is so revolting many places that sell Jelly Bellys will not stock them. Jelly Belly jelly beans are approximately one half inch long by one quarter inch wide and they are roughly bean-shaped. These little candies are marketed to taste precisely like Jalapeno and they meet the expectations of those looking for hot peppers perfectly.

Jalapeno flavored Jelly Bellys are available in a wide array of quantities, but the largest quantity available is the ten pound bulk case. This is a decent-sized box with a plastic lining and while some might wonder why anyone would need a ten pound box, I have no smart answer; I don't know why anyone would want ten pounds of these foul jelly beans either! I suspect that for most people, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans. In my case, it's probably about a decade's worth!

Jalapeno flavored Jelly Bellys are easy to recognize in the Jelly Belly assortment. There are only two opaque green Jelly Bellys and this is a much darker green than the Green Apple beans. Given that all of the others are translucent, this is an easy enough to distinguish bean. That, fortunately, makes it very easy to avoid when one has them mixed in with the others. On its own in the ten pound box, of course, there is nothing to confuse them with.

Ease of Preparation

These are jelly beans, not trying to get through eating hot peppers without tearing up, so it's not like there is a challenge to eating or understanding them. In the case of the ten pound box, one might want to put them in a candy dish of some form as opposed to always going into the box. Then again, one might want to avoid the box altogether.


Jalapeno Jelly Bellys have no scent whatsoever, so the consumer is utterly unprepared for what they are getting when they pop these beans into their mouth.

This is a flavor that Jelly Belly got absolutely right. When placed on the tongue, the bean is initially sweet, like peppers frequently are. But splitting the jelly bean open and exposing its center reveals an unpleasantly spicy center which rips across the tongue. This jelly bean inflames the nostrils and burns up the tastebuds just like jalapenos are supposed to. This is very truly the flavor of hot peppers.

Unfortunately, Jalapeno Jelly Belly jelly beans have a remarkably consistent taste and that taste does not fade. No matter how many beans one eats, the jelly beans remain spicy and terrible.


Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to understand that they do not have any of the moderate nutritional benefits of actual jalapeno peppers. Jelly beans, even Jelly Belly jelly beans, are not a legitimate source of nutrition. These are a snack food, a dessert, and are in no way an adequate substitute for a real meal. A serving is listed at thirty-five beans, with each Jelly Belly jelly bean having approximately four calories. This means that in a single serving, there are 140 calories, which is 12% of your daily recommended intake.

The thing is, Jelly Belly jelly beans are not as bad as they could be in the nutrition area. They have no fat and no protein, but for those who have ever dated a Vegan, these are Vegan compliant because they contain no gelatin! They have only one percent of the daily sodium with 15 mg and they are gluten free! The main ingredients are sugar, corn syrup and modified food starch, so it's not like this is an all-natural food, but they could be far, far worse.


Jelly Belly jelly beans have a shelf life of approximately one year and I have yet to run across a stale Jelly Belly (though this one might be the first batch I ever let go stale as I cannot imagine working my way through the entire box). They remain freshest when they are kept in an airtight container (the bag in the bulk box is sufficient if it is kept closed) and they ought to be kept in a lukewarm environment. Storing them in hot places is likely to make the beans stick together and be gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, the beans retain their flavor perfectly.

As for cleanup, unless one allows the Jelly Belly to get hot to the point that the waxy coating on the bean melts, the dyes on these do not bleed or denature, so there is usually no cleanup necessary, but you should wash your hands before eating them anyway (you might want to wash them afterward as well; it would be pretty horrible if you wiped your eyes after eating them and they actually burned like real peppers would). I've never had Jalapeno Jelly Bellys stain anything.


Jalapeno Jelly Belly jelly beans are a fine flavor . . . if one likes hot peppers. If you don't, this is a flavor that will only torment consumers and I can think of no decent reason to have this many around.

For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Wild Blackberry
Grape Crush

0/10 or 10/10

For other dessert food reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing by clicking here!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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